Museums Australia Conference Presentation by Stephanie Rosestone
On Thursday 27th September I delivered a presentation called Learners, Digital Resources and Museums. The presentation was a culmination of both research and practical experience over the past year as part of my work at Sovereign Hill. My presentation discussed why cultural organisations should engage with teachers and students using digital resources, explored some digital resources developed by museums, and presented some practical ideas for getting started.
Last Thursday I headed to the State Library for a TEDx Melbourne event. I have watched a great number of TED talks online, but this was the first time I had attended a TED event. I think it’s great that TED has expanded to include regional TEDx events across the world, it’s a nice example of how a successful idea can spread without being overly controlled.
Speaking at this TEDx event, that was specifically on the topic of Educational Leadership, was Will Richardson, Stephen Dinham and Jenny Luca. All the speakers provided a different message, but all three were focused on improving education for students, particularly improving education beyond the standardised measure of tests. To me the theme seemed to be preparing students for the unknown real-world future that awaits them.
2011 is rapidly drawing to a close and now is the time when people and organisations look back on the year that was. Google’s Zeitgeist is a good one:
2011 was a big year for me – personally and professionally. I got married, temporarily lived interstate, went back to the classroom as a casual teacher, travelled through the US, UK and Europe for over 2 months, bought a house and moved. I also shifted strongly into the digital world and invested more time into my professional online presence and that of Sovereign Hill Education through a blog and twitter.
Day 2 at the Museums Australia Interpretation Australia Conference was Community, Regional and Specialist Museums Day. It was a great day showcasing a wide range of impressive projects and stories from across the country.
The first Keynote was given by Alec Cole who is currently the CEO of the Museum of WA, but previously worked with the Tyne and Weir Network of Museums in the UK. He talked at some length about the Regional model employed in Tyne and Weir to develop and grow the museums and galleries in that region. I was quite interested in this having spent time at Beamish, who was involved in the project, earlier this year. There were some great programs within the project, including the MAGIC (Museums and Galleries Inspiring Children) travelling program and the ‘I Like…’ marketing initiative where visitors are encouraged to find sites and events that meet their needs. Alec suggested that the model of regional hubs, which can offer support for cross-marketing, region-wide programs and training, could be used successfully in Australia.
Yesterday I attended a professional development workshop led by Steve Hagardon called Teacher 2.0. The PD focused on developing your (teachers’) Personal Web Presence and Personal Learning Network. It has inspired me to develop a more cohesive approach to my own PLN, as mine is currently quite ad hoc.
On Tuesday 19th of April I travelled to Indianapolis to visit the Museum of Art.
My main motivation for visiting this venue was their stong involvement in the using of digital technology to enhance the visitor experience and access to their collection. I met with their School’s Coordinator, Wendy, to discuss their Education Programs and the associated logistics. Wendy was very helpful and we found, as is often the case, that we share similar challenges in managing school groups: bookings, scheduling, group movement, unexpected arrivals, encouraging full participation in programs etc. From the Education Staff I’ve met at a range of institutions, these challenges seem quite universal. We all hope to give our school visitors the very best learning experience and look for ways to best share our expertise with teachers and students. I guess the ultimate question is: what is the best way to assist teachers to give their students the most powerful learning experience while on excursion to our museum? I have even had friends of mine, who know what I do for a job, not have any idea what sort of educational experience local institutions can offer. How do we capture these teachers?
On Oct 11 I was in Melbourne at SLV to see the Listen2Learners seminar. It was a day put together by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the State Library. Based on the successful UK seminar Be Very Afraid, the day was a showcase of students using digital technology as a core part of their learning.
This morning I was at the SLV for a presentation by Mark Pesce to hear his thoughts on how to create meaningful and useful Web2.0 applications. I found it a very engaging presentation full of interesting ideas, but more importantly useful suggestions.